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View Full Version : A waste of hard earned money



MikeEdgerton
Aug-26-2015, 1:10pm
This is a classic. This (http://www.ebay.com/itm/1930s-A-STYLE-MANDOLIN-ORIG-CASE-MUSIC-LESSON-SCHED-FW-COLLEGE-OF-MUSIC-/131576935252?hash=item1ea298b354) mandolin is for sale right now on eBay. It needs some work, it's a bit overpriced as far as I'm concerned, and it includes some books from the music course that was probably sold with the mandolin by a door-to-door salesman as things were done back then. The absolute best part is what is written on the back of the lesson book.

MikeEdgerton
Aug-26-2015, 1:13pm
For posterity here is the mandolin.

pfox14
Aug-26-2015, 1:29pm
Well, what do you expect from the Fort Wayne School of Music?

Bertram Henze
Aug-26-2015, 1:43pm
Sounds like Scrooge's tombstone inscription.
The presence of the instruction material on the photos somehow makes it all very depressing, an epitaph for practise-trained brain cells now rotten and forgotten.

MikeEdgerton
Aug-26-2015, 1:46pm
With the case and the course that was probably a step up from the standard product.

houseworker
Aug-26-2015, 2:53pm
I thought that the "lesson book" was actually being used to record payments made to purchase the mandolin on tick.

I appreciate that it says "Lessons" but $55 seems a large sum to commit ahead of starting lessons that apparently come in at $1 a week, considering how tight money was in 1935.

Jeff Mando
Aug-26-2015, 3:24pm
This is a classic. This (http://www.ebay.com/itm/1930s-A-STYLE-MANDOLIN-ORIG-CASE-MUSIC-LESSON-SCHED-FW-COLLEGE-OF-MUSIC-/131576935252?hash=item1ea298b354) probably sold with the mandolin by a door-to-door salesman as things were done back then.

I recently watched a rerun of the "Waltons" television show where a door-to-door salesman sold Olivia a set of books featuring the "world's greatest works of literature", thinking it would help their kids' education. I believe she put $3 down and committed to pay so much per week or month -- well, you can imagine what happened when John found out......

MikeEdgerton
Aug-26-2015, 3:46pm
The Oscar Schmidt Company sold bizarre stringed instruments, sometimes the same instrument with different names door to door with the lesson on a payment plan. Bob's Ukelin page (http://www.ukelin.com/) speaks of some of the practice. Oahu Guitars were sold the same way. There were others.

journeybear
Aug-26-2015, 4:04pm
Another inscription reads: "It was about a yr ago." Not sure what was, but one interpretation is it could have been a waste of money even in 1934 dollars. :(

Jeff Mando
Aug-26-2015, 4:09pm
Maybe he wasn't learning the instrument as fast as he thought he would....therefore a waste of money. On a related note, I see TONS of Esteban and Keith Urban guitars showing up at pawn shops these days. The trick is -- ya gotta practice!!!

MikeEdgerton
Aug-26-2015, 4:11pm
Actually the bigger trick is that you have to be motivated. Forced practice doesn't get anyone anywhere. :)

Charles E.
Aug-26-2015, 6:37pm
The engraved tailpiece and tuners are worth quite a bit by themselves. Not as much as the asking price but worth considering.

vic-victor
Aug-26-2015, 6:49pm
Actually the bigger trick is that you have to be motivated. Forced practice doesn't get anyone anywhere. :)

I do not endorse forced practice, but the truth is that it got Mr. Paganini somewhere.:))

MikeEdgerton
Aug-26-2015, 7:24pm
There are always exceptions I guess. I know so many people that were forced to take lessons when they were young that have never touched an instrument in their adult lives.

MikeEdgerton
Aug-26-2015, 7:24pm
The engraved tailpiece and tuners are worth quite a bit by themselves. Not as much as the asking price but worth considering.

If it was a hard shell case I would have jumped on it as well.

allenhopkins
Aug-26-2015, 8:40pm
That book, "waste of money" or not, is from one of Rochester's best-known musicians and music teachers from the 1930's through the '60's, Don Santos. With his wife Veda, Santos performed nationally, mainly on tenor banjo and ukulele, and taught instrumental music here for decades. He published dozens of instrumental "methods," for banjo, guitar, ukulele, accordion, mandolin etc., and was sought as an endorser of stringed instruments.

Don Santos died before I got into music, but I did meet Veda, who was still teaching here into the '70's. A friend of mine acquired Veda's Gibson F-2, in somewhat rough shape from water damage to the finish. John Bernunzio wanted to see that mandolin, since he took his first mandolin instruction from Veda Santos.

"Santos Methods" for instrumental instruction were widely circulated; never tried one myself, so can't evaluate them as "money wasters" or not, but Santos was surely a prolific and successful teacher for many years.

brunello97
Aug-26-2015, 9:09pm
When I was a kid the 'square' guys were forced into taking accordion lessons while we were playing baseball.

Now, with my MLB career in tatters, I'm driving to my accordion lesson after work while the other guys are going off to play softball.

Mike's post is pretty deep.

Mick

objectsession
Aug-26-2015, 9:34pm
Maybe they were planning on using it to slice vegetables?

Charles E.
Aug-27-2015, 7:42pm
Good catch Eddie!

JeffD
Aug-27-2015, 8:21pm
Two thoughts - one is that I don't know a single musician that doesn't wish he or she started earlier and practiced more.

Second thought is that I have heard from teachers and my own experience agrees that many more youngsters would continue with their lessons and/or practice if they met and played regularly with others, in a jam or group or something. Doing something mostly alone and mostly at home takes monumental motivation. A jam can be that motivation. Being allowed two extra hours of video games as a reward for practicing is probably not going to work.

Bob A
Aug-27-2015, 11:46pm
That book, "waste of money" or not, is from one of Rochester's best-known musicians and music teachers from the 1930's through the '60's, Don Santos. With his wife Veda, Santos performed nationally, mainly on tenor banjo and ukulele, and taught instrumental music here for decades. He published dozens of instrumental "methods," for banjo, guitar, ukulele, accordion, mandolin etc., and was sought as an endorser of stringed instruments.

Don Santos died before I got into music, but I did meet Veda, who was still teaching here into the '70's. A friend of mine acquired Veda's Gibson F-2, in somewhat rough shape from water damage to the finish. John Bernunzio wanted to see that mandolin, since he took his first mandolin instruction from Veda Santos.

"Santos Methods" for instrumental instruction were widely circulated; never tried one myself, so can't evaluate them as "money wasters" or not, but Santos was surely a prolific and successful teacher for many years.

I have a few "Santos Supreme" mandolin picks that I value highly, for their tonal qualities. I think John B came to regret scattering them about so freely, once they were gone. Almost as nice as TS.

mandroid
Aug-29-2015, 3:59pm
College Degree in Music, like Art, has an even lower 'guarantee' of work than many.

Charles Johnson
Aug-29-2015, 11:29pm
Further to JeffD above:

I started my 11 yr old granddaughter in a rock and roll based music franchise that includes one hour of private instruction and three hours of band practice a week. They play at the end of the lessons (every 3 months) on stage at a local restaurant. It definately reinforces the pleasure obtained from performing with others, and performing in public as well. Now, she is really into playing music.

One of the better decisions I've made!

journeybear
Aug-30-2015, 1:34am
... I don't know a single musician that doesn't wish he or she started earlier and practiced more.

Well, you know me. Of course I wish I'd started earlier - 15 was so late ;) - but I hardly ever wish I practiced more. Practice is a bit of a chore, and I've pretty much got the basics down. Sure, sometimes in the middle of playing I'll wish I'd taken a bit more time learning the piece or my part, usually just after I've flubbed something, but time spent at home playing is more often for fun than practice, unless I'm trying to learn something. But we're talking about practice, right? Practice! Practice?!? :grin:

Mandoplumb
Aug-30-2015, 7:06am
Someone once asked Earnest Stoneman, who had a house full of kids that all played, how he got them all interested. He said he had the instruments, he tuned them all up, laid them on the bed and dared the kids to touch them.

acousticphd
Aug-31-2015, 1:35pm
Notice the wear in the fingerboard; regardless of the "waste of money comment", one or probably several owners spent a lot of time playing this mandolin!

MikeEdgerton
Aug-31-2015, 2:10pm
The wear probably came after the comment was written.

I have a friend that always leaves whatever case candy is in a case when he passes that instrument along. It's nice that the documentation remained with this one.

Timbofood
Aug-31-2015, 4:03pm
There was a "family rule" that all the kids had to do two years of some kind of music. None of my siblings kept up any of it, my oldest sister was relieved of this through her choice of violin(no one could endure her screeching) I started playing the guitar at about twelve dropped it after two lessons, crappy guitar and not a very interesting teacher. Then I found the mandolin.......

Jeff Mando
Aug-31-2015, 4:37pm
I started my 11 yr old granddaughter in a rock and roll based music franchise that includes one hour of private instruction and three hours of band practice a week.

When I was a kid (50+ years ago) we called it music lessons and jamming with friends......

I got a chuckle, Charles with the use of "franchise" -- reminds me of the current use of the word "brand" as it applies to the Kardashian brand, Trump's brand, etc., I guess I've seen "franchise" used with movie sequels, such as the Mission Impossible franchise, etc......hard to stay "current" these days.........:grin:

objectsession
Aug-31-2015, 4:51pm
Isn't "franchise" used in the regular sense (like Subway or McDonalds)? Or am I just missing the joke?

Jeff Mando
Aug-31-2015, 5:10pm
Isn't "franchise" used in the regular sense (like Subway or McDonalds)? Or am I just missing the joke?

The joke is probably on me, actually. The term sounded too "grown up" for an 11 yr old, to me. Or maybe, just too formal. Rather than, "she takes lessons at Bob's Music Store" it struck me like saying, "after attending the franchise, she also interns at Merrill Lynch three days a week."

objectsession
Aug-31-2015, 6:54pm
Oh, like, using the word "franchise" in place of "band"? Heh. That is funny . . in a dark comedy sort of way.

Although, I'm sure Apple is planning something along those lines for Apple Music version 5 or so.

Jeff Mando
Aug-31-2015, 8:04pm
Yes, that's it. I think it depends on your age demographic, somewhat. As a kid in the 60's, the last thing in the world a band would want to be associated with was something corporate--a band represented freedom, rebellion, purity, protest, at least in my eyes. Most musicians back then looked at their music as art and would never consider licensing a song to sell beer, cars, or whatever.....now, of course, most musicians probably think differently. So, to use a term like franchise to describe a band today is probably not such a stretch.